The Final Project
British artist Jo Spence’s last body of work, ‘The Final Project’ (1991–92), explores the acute sense of unreality the artist felt following her cancer diagnosis.
Edited by Louisa Lee; texts by Terry Dennett, Clarissa Jacob, Amy Tobin, Philomena Epps and Jo Spence
Unable to use treatments from her previous battle with breast cancer, Spence confronted the distinct contrast between her physical appearance and mental state by looking for more indirect and allegorical methods of exploring her condition.
Returning to previously explored territories of magical realism and motifs from other cultures, she created a hybrid body of work she entitled PhotoFantasy. These images used a mixture of allegorical props alongside a photomontage effect, resulting in a visual language quite different from her previous works.
This publication presents a compilation of this work alongside unpublished writings and notes by the artist, as well as texts by Terry Dennett, Philomena Epps, Clarissa Jacob and Amy Tobin.
Philomena Epps is a writer and student at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London. Terry Dennet is curator of the Jo Spence Memorial Archive. Clarissa Jacob is a PhD researcher in the department of Media Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London. Louisa Lee is a writer and editor based in London. Amy Tobin is a PhD researcher in the department of History of Art at the University of York, York